As gas supplies dwindle, Chevak faces gas rationing

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2001

BETHEL (AP) -- A gas shortage in Chevak has the Chevak Commercial Corp. rationing its stock to ensure gas supplies last until more arrives in about two months.

The company has begun limiting gasoline sales to five gallons a day per family.

''We have to make sure we have enough to stretch us until the barge comes in from Seattle in mid-June,'' Carl Chimaralrea of Chevak Commercial told the Tundra Drums.

Despite the rationing, Chimaralrea thinks he may need to fly in a supply of fuel before the barge reaches Chevak. Flying in fuel would boost the price from $2.60 a gallon to as much as $3.25 a gallon.

Each September 80,000 gallons of fuel arrives to carry the community of 769 people through the winter. Chevak's supply has dwindled to less than 5,000 gallons, Chimaralrea said.

The shortage comes as residents are preparing for spring subsistence hunting. Gas is needed for the four-wheelers and outboard motors used to take rural residents to hunting areas.

Chimaralrea said the shortage is due partly to the large number of visitors from other villages who came to Chevak during the winter to attend cultural activities and basketball games.

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